5 Tips to Help Manage your Family with Upcoming Surgery or Serious Illness
We all know that in most households (don’t bite my head off, I said “most”) Mom is responsible for scheduling the day-to-day events, driving the kids to and from various activities, housework, cooking, doctoring, planning and the list goes on and on. When mom is a little under the weather, Mom still performs all the usual mommy functions but have you ever thought about what happens when she is seriously under the weather? Surgery? Serious Illness? Hospitalization? Hopefully, you won’t have to ever think about things like this but for some families they have been or will be a reality.
I have had 5 surgeries since 2014 so for my family, this has become a reality. I have had to take time out of “family” when it is time to rest and recover. With proper planning, we have managed to get through these times and you can too! Here are 5 tips that will help you if you have an upcoming surgery or serious illness and need some help when it comes to managing the family.
Tip 1- It Takes a Village
We have all heard this expression but it is so true. You have to ask for help if you need it! My family is so blessed to have friends, neighbors and family who bring over meals and help with the kids during the times when I am recovering the first few days after surgery and truly can’t do these things. If you don’t ask or let people know what is going on with you, they won’t know what you need. I am very proud and don’t like to ask and usually don’t but since I am active in helping others, it comes back around when I am in need. Get involved if you are new to town or don’t have family in your local church or Mom groups in your town. There are plenty of ladies who would love to become friends with awesome YOU and be a part of your VILLAGE! It does take a Village, especially when something like this happens.
Tip 2- Be active in helping others
I brought up this point above! Be apart of your village. Get involved in your friends, neighbors and families lives. We all need help from time to time! I promise someone right now that you know needs something, they might not be asking, but they do! It really feels good, like soul good, when you help someone in need. Taking someone dinner, or even just asking what they need, offering to take their kids for an hour or two and the list goes on and on are all ways we can help out someone. It comes back around to you in your time of need, I promise!
Tip 3- Be a Planner
One thing that helps me when I know I am about to have surgery and be down for a bit is plan! I make a few dinners and freeze them so my family will have something to eat, plan out activities for the kids a week or two in advance so they are not going stir crazy and my husband isn’t banging his head into the wall wondering what to do with them and stock up on items at the store that I know my family will need in advance so we don’t run out of anything while I am down. Basically take care of everything in advance that I can think of so for my recovery time (whatever that is for you) I can truly rest and relax. Especially if you will be on pain meds and not 100% coherent some of the time you might want to think of writing down some of your routine out as well so your husband or whoever will be spending the days with the kids will know what the routine will be in your absence. If you don’t have the Cozi App, you should seriously look into getting it! You can input your schedules into the app and sync it with your husband, one and done! Read about it here! Get all the medications you will need filled and ready and the times you will need to take them wrote out and ready.
Tip 4- Rest and Recover
With a couple of my surgeries, I made the mistake of going back to work too fast, not resting, not taking care of myself and it cost me big time. I had a seizure and ended up in ICU for 5 days because of it, not good! One of the most important bits of advice I can offer you is take the time you need to rest and recover! Don’t overdo it! You might think you feel better, you might think you need to get up and clean or get up and play with the kids but you need to follow the doctors orders and you need to listen to your body! If you feel tired, you are. If you feel weak, you are! Listen to your body! Listen to your doctor! If you followed tip 1 then there should be plenty of people helping you clean the house or make dinner and if you followed tip 3 and planned ahead then there is nothing that you really need to do anyway besides relax! Catch up on your favorite shows, besides when else can you lay around in bed and watch TV?? NEVER! 🙂
Tip 5- Be prepared and informed!
This is so important as well! You are your own health advocate. Read up on what is going on with you. Is it a surgery? Health issue? Hospitalization? Whatever the case, be informed! Ask questions! Let your family know. Do you need a 2nd opinion? In one of my cases, I did and it was the best decision I ever made to change doctors and hospitals at one point the difference between having a suggested craniotomy to a more simpler procedure! Your health is so important! Information is power! You will feel 100% better about what is going on with your body if you truly understand it and so will your family!
Have you ever heard the old saying, “If Mama ain’t well, no one is!” It’s true!
Stay well Mom! Until next time, keep up the juggle because it’s real!
The MAK Team
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